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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3Q70S

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Theses and Dissertations

The Old Edson Cemetery: Investigations into an Early 20th Century Western Alberta Cemetery Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Alberta
pioneer
baby graves
Edson
frontier
mortality
death
cemetery
graves
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
White, Christopher LJ
Supervisor and department
Lovell, Nancy
Examining committee member and department
Lovell, Nancy (Anthropology)
Gouglas, Sean (History and Classics)
Losey, Robert (Anthropology)
Department
Department of Anthropology
Specialization

Date accepted
2012-08-31T09:34:05Z
Graduation date
2012-11
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
This thesis uses archaeological survey and historic documentary sources to reconstruct past mortality patterns and understand mortuary practices from the early 20th century Edson Cemetery in Edson, Alberta. Results show that the cemetery existed foremost as a place to enshrine the individual identity of the deceased, with pragmatic concerns about public health and municipal development guiding the establishment, management and eventual abandonment of the site. Mortality patterns show a high number of infant and young childhood fatalities compared to their representation in the living population. Deceased infants received the same level of memorialization as adults, reflecting both a domestic and public identity. Adult mortality patterns follow known occupational risks while a spike in adult deaths in late 1918 coincides with the spread of the “Spanish Flu” epidemic. These findings highlight the importance of historic context and the value of documentary evidence for analyzing past mortuary behaviours.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3Q70S
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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